The 13th Doha Interfaith Dialogue Conference, organised by Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue (DICID), kicked off yesterday under the theme “Religion and Human Rights”, in the presence of 500 participants from 70 countries.
The two-day conference will discuss three main themes, including the vision and concept of human rights in religions, the position of religions on violations of human rights and human rights issues between divine laws and international conventions.
In his speech at the opening session of the conference, HE the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikhi said that the 13th Doha Interfaith Conference tackles a pressing issue, which is “Religion and Human Rights”, which causes this conference to be important under the current circumstances the world is witnessing, as divisions have arisen as a result of tensions, conflicts and instability in many areas.
HE al-Muraikhi stressed that close relations between humanitarian values, teachings and principles in all laws and religions and between human rights as supreme principles must govern life and societies, calling for strengthening global, regional and local efforts on the implementation of these values and principles and linking them to international human rights instruments.
In this context, he referred to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of 1966.
The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs pointed out that interfaith dialogue should address the overall issues related to the future of all and the concepts that bear common denominators of moral values, ideals and virtues and safeguarding of human dignity for a world of security, peace and stability and for the benefit of humanity as a whole.
He also stressed the necessity for the international community to play its role in resolving disputes peacefully and addressing unacceptable phenomena, including hatred and religious and ethnic intolerance, through raising awareness of the values of tolerance and moderation and renewing moderate religious discourse, while paying balanced attention to various human rights.
HE al-Muraikhi emphasised that the protection and promotion of human rights is a top priority for Qatar and its National Vision 2030, including its legislative system that calls for the protection of these rights.
Moreover, HE stressed the keenness of Qatar under the leadership of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to achieve a comprehensive development that deals mainly with human rights in all its economic, social, cultural, political and civil aspects within the framework of equality, women’s empowerment, promotion of the rights of children as well as the establishment of fundamental freedoms such as freedom of belief, thought and expression.
Despite the growing international interest in the protection and promotion of human rights, he said, it is regrettable that there are gross violations of these rights at this time more than ever before.
In this context, he referred to the unjust siege imposed on Qatar, stressing that the blockade constitutes a flagrant violation of human rights, and of religious principles and values.
Al-Muraikhi said that it is incumbent on all to dedicate their efforts to meet the challenges that impede the promotion and protection of human rights and to address all forms of violations of those rights.
The minister stressed that the right to life and security is one of the most fundamental human rights and that the infringement of this right is a grave violation of all religious values and principles in all laws and religions.
Furthermore, he affirmed Qatar’s firm stance towards terrorism and its rejection of all forms and ideologies that it calls for, regardless of its causes and motives, pointing out that country spares no effort to combat terrorism at local, regional and international levels.
He pointed out that there is no religion that calls for terrorism and that all religions call for noble values, tolerance and constructive dialogue for the benefit of human society.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue (DICID) Dr Ibrahim bin Saleh al-Nuaimi said that the 13th conference represents a great opportunity for religious scholars, academics, and heads of interfaith dialogue centres from around the world and those interested in the issue of interfaith dialogue in particular and cultures and civilisations in general to meet.
He pointed out that the aim of such meetings is to seek a common ground that brings together followers of religions in an attempt to find solutions to meet the challenges, which prevent peaceful co-existence in a world marked by various kinds of disorders.
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